Early on in her career in business and retail merchandising, Lauren Dockery (MBA ‘20) knew she wanted to pursue an MBA – the only question was when and where. Living and working in Charlotte, N.C., she wanted a top-ranked MBA program that would accelerate her career growth without making her press pause on her personal and professional life. And when it came time to choose a program, she didn’t have to look very far. Located in Uptown Charlotte, the Wake Forest MBA program with a part-time format suited her needs.
“Going back full time and quitting my career was not something I was interested in. I wanted to be able to progress within my career and also learn and get my MBA,” Dockery explains. “When I was looking at the MBA programs in Charlotte, the Wake Forest MBA really caught my eye. I believe the name of Wake Forest speaks volumes – and just having that attached to my MBA would take me far.”
In addition to its prestige, Dockery appreciated that the program was designed with full-time working professionals in mind – and specifically, the evening format worked well with her schedule. With meals catered for students, books and supplies included and classes beginning in the evening, she found it easy to leave work and head straight to class.
While working toward her MBA, Dockery received a few internal promotions – pivoting from merchandising to inventory planning and financial planning. Completing a rigorous MBA program demonstrated to others her drive, determination and commitment to continuous learning, she says – which ultimately brought her to her current role as a finance manager within supply chain transportation.
“It proved to my leaders that I was committed to growth – and that helped propel me upwards. If I was willing to work on myself, they were willing to invest that same time back into me,” Dockery explains.
In addition to avenues for career advancement, Dockery appreciated the confidence and leadership skills she gained in the Wake Forest MBA program – as well the open forums to discuss real-world events in the classroom. Specifically, she remembers taking class time to discuss the murder of George Floyd the week of the incident in a leadership elective class with Sherry Moss, associate dean of MBA programs at Wake Forest University and professor of organizational behavior.
“I really appreciated that, especially with something that hits so close to home for me personally as a Black woman,” Dockery says. “One thing that was disheartening for me was that the company I was with at the time didn’t have much of a voice on the matter.”
With sharper leadership skills and a supportive community at Wake Forest behind her, she found the confidence she needed to share her feelings and concerns in an email to the company’s CEO and director of HR – which, for Dockery, illustrates the transformative nature of her experience as a Wake Forest MBA.
“The faculty, my peers, the way the classrooms and sessions were conducted – it just made me feel like I was at home. So I will always tout this program – it’s helped me so much personally and has helped me become a more confident and better leader overall.”
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New, flexible Hybrid format, based in Uptown Charlotte, starts in January!